Merulo, Claudio da Correggio



Born at Correggio, Italy. He received a good musical education, probably at Venice or at Brescia, and at the age of twenty-four he became second organist at St. Mark's, defeating nine other candidates for the post, and succeeding Annibale Padovano as first organist in 1566. The same year he became a publisher, but was not successful and soon abandoned this venture. In 1579 he began to write motets and madrigals, but this, too, failed him. He was associated with such men as Willaert, Zarlino, A. Gabrielli, Padovano and Costanzo Porta, and the greatness of his organ playing made him well known to the musicians of Italy, Germany and Northern Europe. In 1584 he went to Mantua, then to Parma in 1586, where he became organist to Duke Ranuccio Farnese at La Steccata. He was knighted by the Duke and filled his position as organist until lie died at the age of seventy-one. His work is valuable historically, particularly his organ pieces, which compare favorably with the compositions of German organists of that period. Of his compositions which exist today, six vocal pieces are in Torchi's L'Arte Musical in Italia, in volume one, and four organ toccatas in volume three.